Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: PIT 31, TEN 13 (Line: PIT by 5.5)

Players to Watch: Kendall Wright, Rashard Mendenhall

The 2-2 Steelers head to Tennessee looking for their first road win and the 1-4 Titans have only their freak win over the Lions to keep them from the cellar where they belong. The Steelers won 38-17 when the Titans were the visitors last season. This is the Thursday night game and that should keep the Steelers motivated.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Homefield: Heinz Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DEN 19-31 10 KC -----
2 NYJ 27-10 11 BAL -----
3 @OAK 31-34 12 @CLE -----
4 BYE ----- 13 @BAL -----
5 PHI 16-14 14 SD -----
6 @TEN ----- 15 @DAL -----
7 @CIN ----- 16 CIN -----
8 WAS ----- 17 CLE -----
9 @NYG ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PIT @ TEN Rush Catch Pass
QB Ben Roethlisberger 280,3
WR Antonio Brown 7-90
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey 2-30

Pregame Notes: The Steelers barely nipped the Eagles last week and Ben Roethlisberger fell from his normal high yardage and multiple passing scores to only 207 yards and no touchdowns. But his last road game resulted in 384 yards and four touchdowns against the Raiders in Oakland. The return of Rashard Mendenhall provided a spark top the rushing effort but nothing so big as to detract from what this passing offense intends to do each week. If anything, adding any success running the ball will only help the passing effort since defenses have had no reason to concern themselves with the run when they play the Steelers.

Mendenhall is one of the several running backs returning from a torn ACL who apparently have healed completely and without any signs of lingering problems. In his first action since last year, Mendenhall ran for 81 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries and even added two catches for 20 yards. And that came against a normally good Philly rush defense. Playing at home is a bit of a help but overall the results were very encouraging for an offense that has seen nearly no rushing success from Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman who have combined for just one touchdown over the first three games. This will remain a committee backfield of sorts and a reality is that Mendenhall is not likely to get a heavy rushing load in this pass-first offense. But he is new to the 2012 fantasy starters and so far has been rather impressive.

Heath Miller scored in each of the first three games including twice in Oakland but finally posted a low-key effort when he only turned in four catches for 41 yards versus the Eagles. He still remains the leading scorer for the Steelers and a favorite for Roethlisberger.

Mike Wallace had a problem holding onto the ball and dropped three passes last week including one potential long-gainer. He ended with just two receptions for 17 yards after having scored in each of the first three weeks and posted 123 yards on the Raiders. Antonio Brown has been far more consistent and has remained between 74 and 87 yards every week with just one touchdown that came, of course, against the Raiders. Last week he was pitted against Nnamdi Asomugha and still turned in seven receptions for 86 yards.

No reason to overanalyze here. The Titans have never allowed less than 30 points to any opponent and yet just one was able to score more than 14 points. That means the Steelers get a nice stats day so long as they remain motivated.

Gaining Fantasy Points PIT 11 18 9 8 13 27
Preventing Fantasy Points TEN 26 26 18 32 31 27

QB Landry Jones, PIT NE 10000019011 *
Quarterbacks have averaged 266.7 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns through the air, adding one on the ground, against New England. Jones has the best receiver in football on his side, but the running game will be emphasized to take off some pressure.
RB Le'Veon Bell, PIT NE 8004300000 ***
No Ben Roethlisberger makes this offense sputter, and Bell can only do so much by himself. Play him as a flex and hope for the best. New England has allowed 36 grabs by RBs, so there is a small silver lining.
WR Antonio Brown, PIT NE 006601000 *
AB is the best receiver in football, and while Bill Belichick will throw the house at Landry Jones, eventually Brown will break through.
WR Sammie Coates, PIT NE 003400000 *
On average, receivers have scored once every 15.6 catches against the Patriots. Coates is barely playable with Big Ben, let alone a shell of him in Landry Jones.
WR Eli Rogers, PIT NE 004300000 ***
Rogers could see extra looks underneath as Landry Jones unloads the ball and New England focuses on AB and Le'Veon Bell. That said, keep him on the bench.
TE Jesse James, PIT NE 003200000 ***
The Patriots have allowed the fifth most receptions (34) on the year, but only two have gone for scores. Big Ben is out, and James could be a checkdown for Landry Jones. Either way, playing him is not an option.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Chris Boswell, PIT NE 3311 ***
No Big Ben will go one of two ways this week: Either Pittsburgh is just good enough to kick a bunch of field goals, or New England smothers the offense. We'll lean the former.

Tennessee Titans
Homefield: LP Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NE 13-34 10 @MIA -----
2 @SD 10-38 11 BYE -----
3 DET 44-41 12 @JAC -----
4 @HOU 14-38 13 HOU -----
5 @MIN 7-30 14 @IND -----
6 PIT ----- 15 NYJ -----
7 @BUF ----- 16 @GB -----
8 IND ----- 17 JAC -----
9 CHI ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB DeMarco Murray 40 6-50
WR Harry Douglas 2-20
WR Andre Johnson 4-70,1
WR Kendall Wright 7-60
TE Anthony Fasano 4-40
PK Ryan Succop 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: It just keeps getting worse for the Titans. Last week without Jake Locker, the Titans hit a season low with only seven points scored despite allowing 30 points or more in every game. The schedule has been no friend and is not again this week but it gets slightly better in the second half of the season. The switch to Matt Hasselbeck had little results when he only passed for 200 yards and one score in Minnesota. After five weeks, this offense only has a total of seven touchdowns and a few of those came in trash time of decided games.

Chris Johnson somehow rang up 141 yards on 25 runs in Houston where they clearly did not care when he would run a draw in the second half when the Titans were being pummeled and needed to throw. Last week Johnson was back to normal when he only gained 25 yards on 15 runs.

Javon Ringer is out for up to six weeks with a torn MCL so there is no one else to turn to even if they wanted. Even with his one big game, Johnson only has 3.0 yards per carry. Take that away it is dives to 1.4 yards per run. There is just no reason to assume he is going to have a good game in any given week. Much less against the Steelers.

Jared Cook scored in two of the last three weeks which is big on a team with so little success passing. Cook ends with three or four catches per week with moderate yardage at best. He still remains below the fantasy radar.

Kenny Britt returned last week to post two receptions for 23 yards but his ankle is still not completely healed. He is expected to play in this game though he may be on a snap count with limited work. Nate Washington had early success and scored in the first two home games but has been shut down in every road venue. He'll need to step again at home this week for the Titans to remain in the game for any length of time. Kendall Wright comes off a career high nine catches for 66 yards in Minnesota and the rookie has been getting over eight passes per game since week two, He has already become the primary wideout for the Titans though the title so far brings only two touchdowns so far and even less respect. Wright has been a bright spot on a dull team.

The offense has been sluggish at best and needs for the opponent to stop caring and allow trash time and yardage. That is not likely to happen on Thursday night football against the Steelers. There is nothing on this team that suggests a trap game is in the making and the Steelers are just 2-2 so need every win.

Gaining Fantasy Points TEN 19 31 17 4 27 21
Preventing Fantasy Points PIT 13 7 12 23 5 9

QB Marcus Mariota, TEN IND 60100025011 ***
Successive great games for Mariota have raised the expectations a tad ... facing Indy's defense will be a little more of a test than Cleveland and Miami presented. The Colts have allowed 22.8 fantasy points per game, and Mariota is a low-end QB1 this week.
RB DeMarco Murray, TEN IND 11014300000 ****
One of fantasy's top players getting one of the weakest matchups for his position ... gotta love it when a plan comes together. Murray faces the third easiest opponent for RBs in PPR scoring. Indy has allowed an average of 31.4 points, stemming from hemorrhaging touchdowns -- one every 18.4 touches.
WR Rishard Matthews, TEN IND 006700000 ***
Only one in 30 receptions against the Titans has found the end zone. Matthews should catch an ample number of passes against one of four teams to allow 90 receptions.
WR Kendall Wright, TEN IND 005600000 **
Wright should see more targets after last week's strong game. It can't hurt that Indy has allowed 90 receptions to receivers this year.
TE Delanie Walker, TEN IND 005601000 ***
Walker faces divisional-rival Indianapolis, which is right on the cusp of being a strong matchup. This defense has allowed 32 receptions but only two touchdowns in six games. Walker didn't score last year versus the Titans, although he posted 13.8 and 19.4 PPR points in his two meetings.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Ryan Succop, TEN IND 2233 ***
Indy offers the second best matchup for kickers, surrendering 10.3 points per game. It could be worse, but kickers have missed three extra points. Succop is a safe place to find fantasy points in Week 7.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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